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Creating a Culture of Innovation in Canadian Schools

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Author(s): David C. Dibbon

Journal: Managing Global Transitions
ISSN 1581-6311

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 69;
Date: 2003;
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ABSTRACT
Since its inception in 1996, the GrassRoots Program has been instrumental in facilitating the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) into the classrooms of Canadian schools. By linking the GrassRoots Program to the school curriculum and providing incentives for teachers to engage students in the process of co-creating electronic curriculum resources for the Internet, it has been influential in transforming classrooms into authentic centres of learning. There is overwhelming evidence supporting the concept that the GrassRoots Program is a powerful connector between ICT and new teaching theories. This paper provides an overview of innovation, a background to some of the challenges associated with large-scale innovation in the Canadian K-12 school system and the findings from a collection of 16 case studies conducted in innovative schools in Canada. An analysis of the data contained in the case studies indicates that the GrassRoots Program is having a positive impact on the diffusion of ICT in the classrooms of schools that are members of the Network of Innovation (NIS), and it is making a significant contribution to the development of a culture of innovation. The existence of GrassRoots projects has also increased the capacity for innovation by empowering and enabling the schools and teachers to work on multiple innovations simultaneously. Also, there is sufficient evidence to show that GrassRoots has had a major impact on: teacher professional learning; teacher technology skill development; student technology skill development, student employability skill development; access to teaching resources; leadership opportunities; and school growth and development.
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